Ugly Sweaters

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Holiday season in the Northeast can be brutally cold. Snow, wind, below freezing temperatures, oh my! Looking nice and put-together in tights can be too much of an ask when the weather app is showing an image of an icicle. Instead of your outfit being cute, but exposing you to the cold, commit to comfort and wear an ugly sweater.

A time-honored tradition of looking bizarre and getting made fun of, the ugly sweater makes an appearance every holiday season. Applicable to Christmas and Chanukah, or the overarching winter season, ugly sweaters are easily identifiable for being hideous, but warm. Notorious for their chunky fit and crazy knits, ugly sweaters have become increasingly identifiable since the 1980s, appearing in movies and TV shows as cultural short-hand for a character being fashion-ignorant. The rise of social media has taken ugly sweaters from a kitch trend and turned them into a staple of the holiday season.

Ugly sweater parties are common, especially at this time of year. If you happen to be without, here are some ideas. Brands like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara all sell various ugly sweaters. You can find turtlenecks with massive reindeer embossed onto the front, or boatnecks with literal tassels hanging off the sleeves. Should you be less comfortable embracing the “ugly” side of ugly sweaters, there are definitely more tasteful options available. Try a knitted winter scene, or an abstract pattern that alludes to festive animals.

If you are looking for this sweater to be an investment piece, try thrifting from a classic brand. Pendleton sweaters, specially from the 90s, often have elaborate patterns embroidered on. Vintage L.L. Bean is always great quality and often looks as though it walked straight off the set of an 80s Christmas rom-com. Pringle of Scotland is another stunner brand. While most of their sweaters tend towards heavy knit fishermen styles, they did make lines that featured men golfing, or fishing, embroidered onto the chest of the sweater. If you want to buy a sweater you will wear outside of November and December, Pringle might be the best bet.

There is a lot to be excited about during the holiday season. Snow, if you do not subscribe to the beach cult, seeing friends and family, the actual holidays. Getting cozy in an ugly sweater eliminates the stress of planning out an outfit meant to stun, the sweater is the outfit. Throw on a pair of comfortable trousers and a big coat with a scarf, and that’s it, you have a festive look. You no longer need to schedule in an hour of getting ready to pick something from the closet and get dressed. Just pull on your trusty ugly sweater and you are ready to go!